If you are planning on having a surgical procedure any time soon, you may want to take a closer look at your diabetes control- namely your Hemoglobin A1C.
Both pre and post-operative blood sugar control can have giant implications on the results of a surgery. Health care providers and surgeons preach about the importance of keeping blood sugars in normal range with good reason.
- Discuss tactics for blood glucose control with your primary care provider prior to having surgery.
- Adjust your ratios as needed until you see positive blood sugar results and an acceptable HgbA1C.
- Postpone elective surgery until your blood sugar goals are met with your provider and are acceptable by your surgeon.
- Inquire about keeping your insulin pump on during surgery at your pre-operative appointments or any insulin adjustments they recommend. The end goal from start to finish of procedure is normal blood sugars. You will always have the opportunity to speak with your anesthesia provider before surgery and set a game plan.
- Request to be a first morning case- this equates to a clean operating room and less time to remain fasting.
With joint and back surgeries be sure you follow the hospitals protocols for pre-operative testing and skin cleansing to decrease infection rates. Read this recent article by the Wall Street Journal to see what the nationwide trends in pre-operative teaching include. “Steps for Surgical Patients to Fight Infection”.
Post-op factors affecting blood glucose control
With post surgery pain, inflammation, changes in physical activity, and stress blood sugar control may not be as easy to control as it was before surgery.
According to a study “Post-Operative Hyperglycemia and Surgical Site Infection in General Surgery Patients” Ashar Ata, et al published in JAMA:
“Postoperative hyperglycemia may be the most important risk factor for surgical site infections (SSI). Aggressive early postoperative glycemic control should reduce the incidence of SSI. It has been well established that patients with diabetes mellitus are more prone to surgical and other nosocomial infections. Although the mechanism by which diabetes predisposes to SSI is not well understood, hyperglycemia has been proposed as a causative factor for the higher infection rates in diabetic patients.
What is a Hemoglobin A1C test?